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Archive July 2009
Saturday 18 July 2009
Boiling up a single roobois teabag in a lot of water, for the making of iced tea, it strikes me that I'm using quite a lot of stovetop heat inside an air-conditioned house. There's a lot of waste heat, and then a lot more power wastage to get that waste heat out of the house.

Another observation from today, the seat in the car is bloody hot.

Combined observations that give me an idea; I want a pot with a black cast iron exterior and stainless steel interior, and a glass shell that goes over it, which would be good for making anything that requires a medium heat for a long time, like casseroles or vats of iced tea, just by leaving them outside in the climate of Florida. (Or, in the future, the climate of a tropical island.)

There are already solar cooker plans, but those all involve reflectors that would make it more awkward to use. Also, a glass shell over the top and perhaps a rubber ring that it rests on would keep ants and mosquitos from getting at the container (though I suppose boiling temperature and a lid would keep them off pretty well too). [19:23] [3 comments]


Sunday 12 July 2009
It is annoying when you have a good idea for an invention that you actually want to use and have the capability to construct with some effort, and someone has already patented it but they don't make them so you can't buy one, but it's also not worth inventing it properly yourself because some bastard already made a vague patent about it.

Patent Law: acting precisely contrary to its intended purpose since (----?) [19:06] [2 comments]


Tuesday 7 July 2009
A couple of days ago we discovered an exciting new crazy food section in the oriental grocery shop, containing such items as veggie mouth breeder fish, veggie grilled eel, veggie mutton, veggie spare ribs, and veggie shrimp (on the list but not actually on the shelf). Most of these were, it turns out, products of a company called Su Wei Siang, whose website tells me there are even crazier vegetarian delicacies such as pulled pork, emu meat, emu fillet and emu paste. All of them seem to be vegan, even. So, we bought several items including the fish, and when we got home I was looking forward to trying the fake fish, but then we discovered there were no cooking directions on the package, and I have no idea how to cook a real fish let alone a fake one. So I asked the internet, which had only three mentions of the product at all, and no instructions there either. So I emailed the company, which replied commendably politely and swiftly; I will quote it here so that anyone else in the same position can learn to cook their fish from Google without bothering the nice foodnical support people.
Dear Raven,

Thank you for your continued interest in SWS Vegetarian Products.

Depending on your available cooking supplies and taste preference there are many delicious ways to prepare the veggie fish.

For example:

If you prefer an all natural flavor, use a boiling pot
  • Use running water to quickly rinse the outside packaging
  • Since the packaging is specially designed to be steamed or boiled directly without removing the content, simply place the entire package into a pot of boiling water
  • Cook for approximately 5 minutes
  • Carefully remove the item from the pot
  • Use a kitchen knife or kitchen scissors to open the packaging
  • Remove the veggie fish and place on cutting board
  • Cut to desired proportions

If you prefer a stronger flavor, use a frying pan
  • Allow at least two hours (or more) for product to fully defrost
  • Use a kitchen knife or kitchen scissors to open the packaging
  • Remove the veggie fish and place on cutting board
  • Cut to desired proportions
  • Add cooking oil (your preference of oil) to hot frying pan
  • Cook one side until lightly brown (approximately 2 minutes) and flip to other side

You may choose to eat the veggie fish by itself to enjoy its natural flavor or add seasoning/sauces and other mix vegetables to enhance the overall dish. Please also refer to our website for some sample recipes (in Chinese only; English versions will be available soon) for your consideration.

Again, thank you for your purchase and we look forward to hearing from you soon!

Thank you for your interest in SWS.

Sincerely,

SWS Customer Service Team
[18:17] [2 comments]